Adana had a history of producing machines powered by treadle (and not hand) before the T/P48 appeared. A patent held by the founder of Adana (Donald Aspinall) and an engineer demonstrates the principle from the 1920s; and the firm made an Adana Treadle Platen around 1926. This family of machines has an unusual approach of a D‑shaped drum to act as inking cylinder with the flat area holding the chase. Inking rollers revolve around the drum and on to the forme — this whole assembly moves to impress on a static back platen holding the paper.
Other construction details led to a loyal following of users: the stand was made from tubular steel, the main frame from a light alloy. This kept the weight to around 2¾ cwt. Cast iron was used where needed for strength: the platen and side arms.
In use, the unusual operating principle has some positive side effects — the feed is to a static bed (as only the platen moves) so is easier to use than a moving back platen; the inking is adjustable and uses more rollers than other Adana machines; and the machine is chain-driven so there is less fatigue on the operator.
The T/P48 was launched as the T/P47 at the British Industries Fair in 1947 but restrictions on UK manufacturers meant the machine was not advertised in the UK until August 1949. Incidentally the T/P stands for Treadle/Power as the machine could be powered by foot or electricity. This serves to highlight the apparent arbitrary nature of Adana’s naming system!
In 1971 the machine was updated as the P71– but this appeared to be cosmetic: the open sides were panelled and the gearing was amended. Another version of the machine was sold with slower power for use in schools and took the name P71S.